Friday, January 28, 2011

My first homemade Ricotta

freshly squeezed works best here
I found a new food blog that specializes in Italian  cooking. Who doesn't love pasta and a good sauce? Spinach lasagna with home made ricotta. Oh, the endless possibilities! I stumbled across there Elaine,( from Richard Ferretti via Gourmet, via the Italian dish blog )had it all neatly posted how to make your own ricotta. I was excited, and it is ever so cheap to make on  your own. I was off to my local  corner store and picked up some 3 percent whole milk and a lemon. I always have a readily supply of heavy cream available for the goat.

2 quarts whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
starting to curdle.
Line a large strainer with a layer or two of cheese cloth and place over a large bowl. Slowly bring the milk to a rolling boil in a 6 quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.Add lemon juice. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture curdles, about 2 minutes. Pour into lined strainer and let drain for 1 hour(note: I let it drain for just a few minutes, so it does not become dry). After discarding the liquid, chill the ricotta covered.

oh, those wash clothes!
I followed The Italian dish's recipe, but there was one little hick up. It took me 1 hour to get my milk and cream to curdle not two minutes as her recipe quoted.. I was a little perplexed by this and while it was simmering I read a little more on the web. I found that it is ever so much more quickly to make if you add all the ingredients when stated!! I added the cream and the milk but forgot to add the salt until it was boiling. I perhaps didn't let the cream and milk boil long enough before I added the lemon juice. I found I needed to add at least 4 tablespoons of lemon juice to make it finely come to a curd.I kept on raising the heat and lowering the heat and stirring and stirring and finely it was finished. I did not have any cheese cloth but those washing up rags that everybody has in the cupboard worked out perfectly.( see picture you know which ones) I let strain for a few minutes not the one hour most recipes call for and put in the fridge. Let it rest covered in the fridge for at least 2 hours before using. Keeps for two days covered in the fridge.

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